Kuchar remains steady, leads Memorial by 2


With winds swirling throughout the day, many of the game's best players found themselves on the wrong side of par during the third round of The Memorial Tournament. Here's how things shape up heading into the final round at Muirfield Village, where Matt Kuchar finds himself staked to a two-shot lead thanks to steady play amid difficult conditions:

The leaderboard: Matt Kuchar (-8), Kevin Chappell (-6), Kyle Stanley (-6), Justin Rose (-5), Bill Haas (-5), Matt Jones (-5), Adam Scott (-4), Charl Schwartzel (-4)

What it means: With Haas quickly surrendering his overnight lead, Schwartzel moved to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a pair of early birdies. The South African quickly regressed, though, and Kuchar was able to rise above the field on a difficult day behind five birdies, firing his third straight round of 70 or better this week. 

Round of the day: Beginning the day seven shots off the pace, Chappell played his way into the final group Sunday thanks to a cooperative putter. The former UCLA standout took just 24 putts in the third round, firing a 4-under 68 despite reaching just 10 of 18 greens in regulation. Chappell made only one bogey Saturday at the par-5 11th and more than offset that error with five birdies, including three in a row from holes 5-7.

Best of the rest: While many big names were struggling early Saturday amid breezy conditions, Henry made Muirfield Village look tame while matching Chappell’s 4-under 68. Beginning on the 10th hole, Henry went out in 4-under 32, notching four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 14-18. Despite a pair of bogeys across his final four holes, the Texan now finds himself in position for his first top-10 finish of the 2013 season.

Biggest disappointment: It’s rare to see Tiger Woods struggle; it’s rarer still to see him struggle on a course where he’s won five times. That’s what happened Saturday at Muirfield Village, though, as the defending champion plummeted after a 7-over 79. Woods went out in 8-over 44, a humbling stretch that marked his highest nine-hole score as a professional, and will begin the final round at 8-over, 16 shots behind the leader.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: After nearly hoisting the trophy a week ago at Colonial, Kuchar is in position once again to become just the second multiple winner this season on the PGA Tour. He’ll likely be facing another day of difficult conditions at Muirfield Village, though, with several top-ranked players – not to mention a pair of Masters champions – in close pursuit.

Shot of the day: After busting a drive 331 yards at the par-5 11th, Stanley had only 215 yards for his approach. The shot from the fairway was an accurate one, landing just two feet from the pin to set up a tap-in eagle. It was a highlight on an otherwise difficult day for Stanley, who remains in contention despite a 1-over 73 in the third round.

Quote of the day: 'It was tough out there from beginning to end. We didn't hit that many bad shots starting out the day and the next thing you know, we're quite a few over par.' – Woods, whose 8-over 44 on his outward nine included two double bogeys and a triple bogey.